Unforeseen circumstance affects us all, but for those with children it can be especially difficult. Providing for a child requires so much time, effort, and patience; what would happen if our situation were to suddenly take a turn for the worst? In our time of crisis, juggling the roles of mom and dad while simultaneously trying to get the family ahead or through the rough times can be tricky, but does it have to be?
Where to find help
Kings County residents rejoice! Safe Families for Children (SFFC) has been brought to Kings County through the interest of local churches that were excited to adopt the ministry. But what exactly do you get with SFFC? Local expert Kim Lehner had this to say "SFFC expands the community safety net by providing parents in need a loving home where they can safely place their kids in a time of crisis. Host families, prompted solely by compassion , are screened, trained and serve without compensation. Designed to positively impact and support at-risk families, SFFC is a non-coercive alternative to the state child welfare system, allowing parents to work out their problems without having to worry about losing custody of their children."
Now, if you're looking to receive service, the best place to start is the phone. Calling 559-977-4782 will get you in touch with the intake staff who can get you started and assess your situation to determine your eligibility for the program and if approved, will begin searching for the best host family for your situation.
Ways to support
Conversely, if you're looking to get involved as a host family for this program, there are informational meetings you can attend (in person and via webinar) that explain in detail what SFFC is and how you can help other families. If you're interested in signing up for a meeting, you should reach out to Kim Lehner at firstname.lastname@example.org
If hosting is not something you can do, but you wish to support this program, SFFC is always looking for donations and financial partners to better sustain their mission of providing for families and their children. Churches can also get involved, and are strongly encouraged to adopt the ministry. "There are other roles that a person can hold when their church adopts the ministry," says Lehner. "We call them Family Coaches, Family Friends and Resource Friends. Basically each person in the church has something to offer. One person may provide transportation needs while another may be bringing meals or diapers to the host family. One of the greatest ways to help is to introduce this program to your church, you could also become a Ministry Lead."
Why Safe Families for Children?
SFFC is bringing a great service to our community, and their staff feels strongly about what they are here to do. When asked why she joined SFFC, Kim Lehner had this to say, "I was drawn to Safe Families because it is truly what God has called his people to be doing. Over the years the government has taken control of protecting children from their parents. With families being the most powerful change agents in our society and the Church being the greatest distribution network in the world, I am excited to be a part of this movement. SFFC gives the Church the structure it needs to help take back the care of families and help prevent children from being abused and entering the foster care system."
Is emergency child care a possibility? Absolutely! We hope this program continues trending in the right direction and kids in our county benefit tremendously from the great care of local host families.